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Pauline Rowson's Ten Rules For Writing

Pauline RowsonThe Guardian ran an article once asking writers for their ten rules for writing, so I thought I would pen mine.

1. Always have a pencil and paper with you, in every handbag, shopping bag, pocket, and of course beside your bed. You never know when that wonderful idea might strike. A Dictaphone might also be useful.  Gone are the days when you got funny looks for talking into a machine or even talking to yourself walking down the road. Everybody’s at it now

2. Travel by public transport as often as you can.  If you’ve got a bus pass so much the better, you can stay on it all day for free and save on heating bills at home.  You see and meet some great characters for novels.

3. Earwig other people's conversations in cafes, bars, buses, trains. Hoover up their stories and anecdotes only don’t to it too overtly because you’ll either get arrested or punched in the face.

4. People watch. Register the body language.  It adds colour to your characters, but ditto above.

5. Write for yourself rather than trying to write to suit your publisher, your agent, your readers.  You’ll end up with something watered down and weak that nobody loves least of all you.

6. Don't read reviews, or if you do learn to take the rough with the smooth and then carry on writing for yourself and for enjoyment, not to please the woman from Woking who claims your novels are utter tripe.

7. Back up everything, regularly, regularly, regularly.

8. Have a spare computer, laptop or netbook, or all three.  If one fails, and you've backed up, you can always continue writing.

9. If you get to the stage in your novel where you're bored with the story, then your reader will most certainly be bored too. Chuck it out and start again. Or as Chandler once said, bring in a man with a gun.

10. Marry someone rich. It helps.  If you can’t then accept that writing is hard work.  You don't get a pension plan, and you don't get a regular salary cheque. Nobody is forcing you to do this, so don't moan, enjoy it and if you don't enjoy it, don't do it.  

PS And don’t spend too much time drawing up lists otherwise you’ll never get any work done.

Death Lies Beneath - Di Horton - Pauline Rowson

Death Lies Beneath, the eighth in the DI Horton series was published in July by Severn House.

A Killing Coast, the seventh in the Horton series is in hardback and will be published in paperback and e book format in 2013.


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POSTED BY: PAULINE ROWSON
SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2012 @ 5:46:22 UTC
 
 


Comments

RE: Pauline Rowson's Ten Rules For Writing


Reading this is the reaffirmation I needed. Rule 6 can is important. The rest, I find myself trying to do most of these, but no number 10 yet.
Great blog and site. Thanks.

Regards Alex
alexscottwriter.com

COMMENT BY ALEX SCOTT, SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2012 @ 2:25:54 UTC

RE: Pauline Rowson's Ten Rules For Writing


Rule number 7 - imprint it on your forehead - in the steam days of computers I lost 25,000 words off my first novel and I wasn`t backing up ( brilliant tekkie brothers found it, phew!) but its just not worth the risk.

Love that Chandler quote, Pauline - great post.

COMMENT BY MIRIAM HALAHMY, SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2012 @ 11:54:32 UTC

RE: Pauline Rowson's Ten Rules For Writing


Great list, Pauline! I used to always keep a notebook near me, but have lately forgot to do so. Thanks for the reminder!

COMMENT BY ANGELICA R. HILL, SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2012 @ 5:47:28 UTC
 

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